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Brighton & Sussex Medical School

Our department and teaching

Our department and teaching

The Department of Primary Care and Public Health (PCPH) is a teaching and research department of about 35 people, led by Prof Carrie Llewellyn. 

Researchers in the department work in primary care and health services research, epidemiology and public health, data science, medical statistics, and behavioural medicine, psychology and social sciences. The department is highly interdisciplinary, with strong methodological expertise and an ethos of co-production.

We have strong collaborative links with local government and NHS partners and we have received strategic investment within ARC Kent, Surrey, Sussex to build data analytics capacity and impact.

The department hosts GP and Public Health trainees and offers secondment opportunities. A number of our members hold honorary roles and titles.

General practice teaching

We provide extra support to students with an interest in primary care and public health to make BSMS the first school in the country for future GPs and public health doctors. A total of 130 local GP practices are actively involved in clinical teaching, such as in the simulated surgeries.

The department hosts NIHR Academic Clinical Fellows in general practice and academic foundation doctors. Our research fellows join an existing enthusiastic research team, contribute to undergraduate teaching and also undertake a Master’s degree in research methods (MRes) as part of their training in academic primary care. We welcome applications for these posts via the National Recruitment Office for GP Training (NRO). 

Become a GP teacher

General practitioners interested in teaching without an existing contract with BSMS may be eligible for an honorary academic title.

Honorary titles are granted in recognition of sustained involvement in the medical school, including provision of community placements, research collaboration, teaching, student assessment and examination.

Find out how to become a GP teacher with us >


Public health teaching

Public health teaching at BSMS plays a pivotal role in equipping future doctors with a comprehensive understanding of population health and disease prevention.

It is taught as a vertical theme in the 5-year BM BS programme and is led by Professor Anjum Memon, Discipline Lead in Epidemiology and Public Health Medicine. The curriculum is aligned to GMC “Outcomes for Graduates” and Faculty of Public Health curriculum guide for undergraduate medical education, and includes core topics (in epidemiology, research methods, health promotion and disease prevention) and integrated multidisciplinary teaching within other specialties (e.g., general practice, infectious diseases, paediatrics, oncology, ObGyn).

Students are exposed to a range of teaching methods, including lectures, case studies, practical exercises, and community-based learning. They develop essential knowledge and skills to critically analyse health data, identify determinants of health, and design research to address public health issues. Through our collaborative teaching with public health colleagues in the Brighton and Hove City Council and East and West Sussex County councils, students are exposed to real-world public health data and issues. Our curriculum fosters a holistic approach to healthcare that not only emphasises individual patient care but also addresses the wider social, environmental, and systemic factors that influence health and wellbeing at the societal levels.


Academic foundation posts in GP

The department supervises F2 academic foundation posts (AFP) on a rotating, four month basis. The attachment includes an academic project (research, medical education, academic writing etc) undertaken within the department.

We encourage AFP doctors to make contact well in advance of the attachment for planning and ensure that time in post is used effectively. AFP doctors should contact the F2 lead in the department Dr Max Cooper to arrange a meeting to discuss options and learning objectives. This will explore academic project areas that would be best match your plans for academic work to the expertise of members of the department. Prior to this, AFPs should peruse the profiles of staff members within the department to identify potential supervisors.

AFP doctors are encouraged to engage in the wider activities of the department, in particular undergraduate general practice teaching. Undergraduate teaching in general practice typically takes place on tuesdays, thursdays and fridays during term time. Other medical education activities include curriculum meetings, exam boards and student assessment. There is a weekly primary care and public health seminar on Mondays at 13.30 which AFP doctors should attend. Please note that the placement does not include formal clinical general practice.

Academic Clinical Fellows in GP 

Academic Clinical Fellows (ACFs) are doctors undertaking an extended training that combines clinical and academic general practice. Clinical training remains the responsibility of Health Education England South East (HEESE) and applications are made through the General Practice National Recruitment Office rather than BSMS. Please note that ACF in General Practice at BSMS typically exist in the form of two posts every other year.  

Fellows normally undertake the BSMS Masters in Research. Other BSMS postgraduate courses may be considered although where this is approved fellows are required to fund any tuition fees that exceed those of the MRes. The MRes offers diverse modules (some of which can be taken during study leave during ST1 and ST2 training) and an extended research dissertation. The latter is completed during the two year ST3 period where clinical training is shared with academic work. Fellows are appointed an academic GP supervisor throughout the four year programme who will work closely with the relevant clinical GP trainer.  

For further information about ACF at BSMS please contact Professor Harm Van Marwijk.


Public health training opportunities

We see academic public health as an integral part of public health service, and encourage trainees at all stages to link to us proactively throughout the “life course” of their training. 

At BSMS we encourage trainees to work with us in advance to plan a tailored programme of work that harnesses the extraordinary range of opportunities across BSMS and its host universities, the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration Kent Surrey Sussex (ARCKSS), and partner institutions in local government, NHS and social care. Combined placements are encouraged (e.g. Health Protection Teams, NHS Trusts, Local Government) as in our experience this can add value both for the trainee and the organisations

Find out more about our public health training opportunities here >

Research methods teaching and statistics support

Our department oversees the delivery of research methods teaching in the BMBS undergraduate curriculum. This includes lecture based teaching in years 2 and 3, and research methods support for the Individual Research Project module in year 4.

Our statisticians also offer one-to-one advice on study design and data analysis to research students and staff in the medical school.

Find out more here >